First published in the January 2018 Equiery
A little over two years ago, we reported on the October 26, 2015 arrest in Orange County, VA, of Anne Goland (a.k.a. Anne Shumate Williams) on 27 counts of animal cruelty after 7 horses were found dead, and 89 that were emaciated, on her property known as Peaceable Farm. According to Orange County Sheriff Mark Amos (as reported by NBC Channel 29), “What I saw was one of the most horrendous sights I’ve ever seen in 28 years of law enforcement.”
Goland allegedly relocated horses to this farm from her Dickerson, Maryland, property after numerous complaints were made about her animals to Montgomery County authorities in early 2015.
In November, Goland was found guilty on 22 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty; she was appealing the verdict.
According to authorities, Goland ostensibly operated a for-profit breeding business in conjunction with the not-for-profit rescue known as Peaceable Farm. As a result of the cruelty charges, law enforcement expanded the scope of the investigation, eventually charging Goland with 13 counts of felony embezzlement from funds donated to help the horses.
On December 7, Goland entered a plea agreement, pleading guilty to one count of felony embezzlement, with the other embezzlement charges were dismissed. As a result, Goland was sentenced to five years in jail, all of which were suspended.
However, also as part of the embezzlement plea deal, Goland agreed to drop her appeal of the animal cruelty charges, and was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail with 90 months suspended, according to news sources. Upon release, she will serve a supervised probation for five years, is prohibited from owning animals for five years, and must undergo a mental health evaluation.